New Jersey state data center goes dark temporarily as primary election looms

The governor's office says the data center is mostly back online, but some public disclosure opportunities related to the election may have been lost.

The New Jersey government’s entire computer network was knocked offline for hours on Saturday, disrupting — among other things — public disclosure of campaign contributions leading into the primary election on Tuesday.

Most of the state’s systems were brought back online Sunday after a fire suppression system activated at the state data center had disabled access to all state systems, the New Jersey Globe reported .

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) was among the agencies knocked offline on Saturday and any campaigns attempting to file 48-hour contribution reports were unable to do so.

In the 11 days prior to an election, campaigns are required to submit contributions in excess of $300 within 48 hours of expenditure. Campaigns will not be penalized for late filings, but ELEC Deputy Director Joseph Donohue told StateScoop that since this happened so soon before the election, there may be some missed opportunities for public disclosure.


“It’s unfortunate. With our computer system, I know we try hard to make sure it’s always up before the election, but because we are dependent on the state servers, that can obviously can turn out to be an issue in this case,” Donohue said.

The total impact of the outage is difficult to know, he said, but said any notices filed today will be posted on the commission’s website by 5 p.m.

“Hopefully there won’t be any loss of disclosure before the election,” Donohue said.

Dan Bryan, a spokesman for Gov. Phil Murphy, released a statement saying that the New Jersey Office of Information Technology has been “working around the clock” to bring the data center back online and that it is now 99 percent operational.

Representatives from at least one Motor Vehicle Commission office told on Monday, however, they were still waiting for payment processing systems to come back online and that there was a line of customers out the door of the Wayne township office.


Another Twitter user was less patient with the outage.

The New Jersey Office of Information Technology did not respond to phone and email requests for more information.

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